Legends of Tomorrow recap: Star City 2046
Can the "legends" defeat a savage threat not named Vandal Savage that's taken over Green Arrow's home?
Well, Star City sure looks different. In 2046, the Green Arrow’s home — and when and where the Waverider crew has landed after being thrust out of the temporal zone — might as well be called Star S—ty. (Sorry.) Criminals run amok, literally every street is burning, and Oliver Queen is nowhere to be found. In his place is Connor Hawke (er, sort of, but we’ll get to that), who greets the “legends” by firing explosive arrows at them and forcing them to retreat back onto the Waverider. There, they come up with a plan: One team of “legends” will head to Palmer Tech Smoak Technologies to retrieve a prototype they need to fix the ship. Those left behind will repair Gideon and the engines.
Of course, it all sounds easier than it really is. As soon as Rip, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, and Sara (who insisted on joining, even though Rip warned her that her personal connection to the city will distract her) head outdoors, they encounter a dangerous fight breaking out in their path. Sara spots Connor and follows him, with Rip trailing behind. When she corners Connor, she gains his trust by telling him she knew Oliver. Connor, in return, offers the bad news that everyone she knows is gone from Star City (or dead) because the show didn’t have enough money to get more cameos of the Uprising, when Deathstroke (a.k.a. the greatest villain in Arrowverse) returned to the city and unleashed his violence upon it.
Trouble is, the Deathstroke we’re talking about this time isn’t Manu Bennett’s growly Big Bad. (Maybe because Manu Bennett’s currently being growly on The Shannara Chronicles.) Instead, it’s Deathstroke Jr., as in Grant Wilson, Slade’s son, who’s just as insane as his father. After Rip arrives to repeat what he said earlier about the importance of not altering the future, Connor whisks them all away to help them track down where Felicity’s equipment is now stored: not in the Smoak Technologies building but at — you guessed it! — the Arrow cave, the original team’s super lair. There, they find that the cave has seen better days — and so has Oliver, old Oliver, who has gained a beard and lost an arm. Ouch.
Oliver cuts his reunion with Sara short by warning them all to leave and chiding Connor for wearing the Green Arrow outfit. After all, Connor isn’t just some random Star City denizen with a great shot; he’s actually John Diggle’s son, John Diggle Jr., who took up the Green Arrow mantle to try to save the city when no one else — not even Oliver — would, especially after he couldn’t save Diggle. His shame at failing to save his father led him to drop his real name in favor of his new one.
Still, not all is lost. Oliver tells them where to find the prototype before slinking back into the shadows, and at the Smoak Technologies warehouse, both Sara and Rip find what they need, with the latter getting his hands on the exact prototype and at the same time lecturing Sara about how important it is not to get sucked into a timeline that is still malleable. (Rip’s a time-traveler; no wonder he’s a multi-tasker!) Just as he grabs the prototype, Deathstroke’s men arrive, and a fight breaks out. Captain Cold and Heat Wave ride in just in time to break up the party — but they’ve got their own issues to work out first.
See, the duo took off to rob a bank when Sara headed off to corner Connor. On the way, they met a guy dressed like an extra on The 100:
… and Mick promptly knocked him out and took his throne in the gang. Despite being a little annoyed at the turn of events, Leonard plays along — until he sees how Mick’s become attached to Star City in 2046, a place so overrun with criminals that Mick inevitably considers it paradise. When Deathstroke Jr. arrives with his goons to recruit the gang into finding and killing Green Arrow for him, Leonard convinces Mick to at least come with him first so they can save their friends before they have a nice, totally zen chat about whether they should stay. As soon as they’re done saving Rip and Sara, though, Leonard knocks Mick out (hey, he’s a “legend,” after all, and “legends” tend to knock out their partners to force them to go along with them) so the foursome can return to the ship. When the two finally do discuss the issue aboard the Waverider, Leonard outlines their deal: He’s the brains, and Mick is the brawn; and sometimes, Leonard has to do what he has to do to keep Mick in line. Mick gets it, but he’s not completely into Leonard’s wish to become heroes (or as Leonard puts it, “the two baddest sons of bitches of all time”), so he threatens his partner, telling him, “You lay a hand on me again, you burn, too.” Ouch, Mick. You had to get in your partner’s face and use a pun? Rough!
Meanwhile, Sara’s hesitant to leave: During the fight, Connor got snatched by Deathstroke Jr.’s men, and she’s reluctant to let the new Green Arrow die, even if it’s in the future. She gets to the Waverider, but she just feels worse. (It’s kind of, well, a lot when you find out everyone you cared for would be dead or mostly dead in 30 years.) As expected, she and Rip argue, until Rip gets exasperated enough to let her take an hour to save Connor before he launches Waverider and leaves her behind. Sara takes off just in time to make it to Connor’s public execution. (Who said Vandal Savage was the most savage of villains? Grant Wilson’s climbing in the Big Bad rankings.)
NEXT: Two Green Arrows…
Sara finds Oliver before heading to save Connor and convinces him to get back out on the field by handing him what she found in the warehouse earlier: His old bow. Armed with the bow and his mechanical arm, Oliver tags along, and Sara manages to get herself caught so she can distract Deathstroke Jr.’s goons right before he slices off Connor’s head.
For an old man, Oliver’s quite nimble. He decides to fight against Deathstroke Jr. himself while Sara and Connor fend off the minions. Outnumbered, the trio appear to be weakening — until the rest of the “legends” appear. Rip wound up waiting 90 minutes before finally making the call to go save Sara instead of abandoning her, and with the team’s help — and a nice shot from Connor — Deathstroke Jr. falls. Hooray, the future is saved!
Sure, it’s the wrong future — they did nothing about Vandal Savage tonight — but their efforts result in the two Green Arrows returning to the Arrow cave and deciding to make it functional again. Oliver is finally out of hiding, and he’d rather save his city instead of sulk in it.
It’s a happy ending — for everyone except Jax and Ray. While Rip, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, and Sara had been running around Star City, the fixer-uppers left behind entered into an inadvertent love triangle caused by a meddling Stein. Thanks to their psychic connection, Stein figures out that Jax has a crush (oooh) on Kendra and tries to help his partner by gauging whether Ray is interested in her, too. Ray’s not — but starts to consider his compatibility with Kendra after his chat with Stein. Ultimately, Ray gets there first, asking Kendra to a drink. But during this entire angst-y, high-school-like time, all three men failed to consider Kendra’s emotions, which are still shaken and confused by how much her life has changed since she met Carter, lost Carter, and worked out the kinks in her hawk goddess powers. Kendra admits she’s not ready for a relationship and turns Ray down, leaving Ray dejected but happy to tell Jax that at least she would have chosen him, not Jax. (Hey, at least a bromance is brewing.)
With Gideon repaired, Rip tracks down their next location and time, punching in the coordinates. And after one last look at the apocalyptic Star City he fell in love with, Mick joins the rest of the crew in strapping in — and off…they…go!
On to the “awards,” which I’m a little sorry to say don’t go to the “legends” tonight:
Cheesiest Line of the Night: “I’m going to enjoy killing you.” —Grant Wilson. Seriously, man?! You’re going to continue Deathstroke’s legacy by saying something like that?!
This Week’s Winner of the Unofficial EW Legends of Tomorrow Scenery Chewing but in a Good Way Award, a.k.a. The Legend-ary Ham of the Week: Stephen Amell. No, really, the man who plays the Green Arrow clearly had a good time this week pretending to be old by grunt-whispering everything he said. It was sort of effective, even if it just made him sound like he had a constant sore throat.
Still moody, after all these years.
Team MVP: Connor. I know he’s not part of the team (he could be in the future of the future!), but this guy’s been trying to save Star City alone for years. He hasn’t done too great a job, but that’s enough effort for this consolation prize.
And on to the timey-wimey notes!
- So…was Deathstroke Jr. going to just slice through all of Connor’s arrows or…?
- I really am liking Franz Drameh’s “aw, shucks” take on Jax more and more each week. He’s not exactly a reluctant hero, just a fidgety, I-really-need-Stein-here one. His delivery of the line, “I don’t plan on getting shish kebab-ed by the dude!” was spot on. Oh, and I loved how huffy he appeared in this scene, like a grandchild of Stein’s who’s had it with the lecturing:
- Something I enjoyed about tonight’s hour was how well the two separate teams worked together. Maybe it was because the episode spent considerable time focusing on the two Green Arrows and shifted the main crew, who all began as supporting characters, back into that supporting role. It just felt like the cast was more comfortable with the A-story spotlight pointed away from them for a bit. Caity Lotz had to do most of the heavy lifting in the end. I mean, look at this:
It’s like they’re all worshipping at the leader of the Arrowverse’s feet.
- Rip insists that “this world isn’t real,” but Rip, that’s not exactly the best advice to someone who’s already traumatized by the world you’re in. It’s kind of like putting someone in a nightmare, telling them they’re literally in a nightmare, and then refusing to wake them up because you, um, have to get something from said nightmare.
- On that note, if Rip is from the “future” but considers it hard to fix the “future” (as Sara points out) and the rest of the “legends” consider 2016 to be their “present,” what is Rip’s “present”? Would the “future” he knew with his wife and son be the “present”? Does he actually have a “present”? Now that they’re all time traveling, can’t they consider where they are the “present”? No, because Star City 2046 is still malleable, as Rip says, right? Am I overthinking this?! IS TIME NOT AN ACTUAL CONCEPT
- “Deathstroke. What kind of a name is that?” Mick, your code name is Heat Wave. That’s not any better.
- “I wouldn’t know. I skipped 10th grade and 11th.” Stein, could you just try to stop humblebragging for one second?
- As soon as I saw Oliver without an arm, I thought of J. Walter Weatherman from Arrested Development. Mr. Queen clearly didn’t take Weatherman’s infamous advice.
- Speaking of advice, Stein’s pep talk to Jax about getting confidence only made me think of this number from The Sound of Music, which you really don’t want in your head while watching Legends of Tomorrow.
- Again, when will Arthur Darvill get to smile? Yes, time travel’s hard work, but everyone else has cracked a grin. Lighten up, Rip!
Finally, this occurred to me as soon as they revealed the identity of 2046 Deathstroke: Does anyone watching Legends of Tomorrow NOT watch Arrow? Because if so, boy, much of what was happening tonight must have been kind of confusing.